Israelis and Palestinians – The struggle for the West Bank

Associated Press
One of the Palestinian supporters of the Islamic Jihad chants slogans against resuming peace talks with Israel as they demonstrate in Gaza City, Friday, Jan. 10, 2014. In recent weeks, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has stepped up involvement in the negotiations, shuttling between Abbas and Netanyahu to narrow considerable gaps between them on the outlines of a peace deal. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

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Israel announced plans Friday to build 1,400 new homes in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, territory the Palestinians claim for their future state.

Though it was no surprise, the announcement is likely to anger Palestinians and could cast a shadow on U.S.-led peace efforts.

Israel's housing ministry said 800 new houses will be built in the West Bank and 600 in east Jerusalem.

The statement had been expected after Israel released 26 long-serving Palestinian prisoners in late December, part of a deal made last summer when Israeli-Palestinian peace talks resumed. It was the third of four pledged prisoner releases. (AP)


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